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Is it good business to voice your political affiliation to your customers?

When the owner of Big Apple Pizza & Pasta Italian Restaurant gave President Barrack Obama a huge bear hug in his establishment earlier this month, he had no idea that such a gesture could have displeased his customers enough to actually hurt his business. But after the Republican business owner became the topic of huge debate on Yelp, many customers have decided to voice their distaste for the owner and his business.

The Italian restaurant owner says he doesn't mind if people stop coming to his business because he hugged a member of the opposing political party. He points out that despite political affiliation he was making a bold statement about his values and he cares whether small businesses will get a fighting chance in the upcoming years.

Many other entrepreneurs are agreeing with the restaurant owner pointing out that with it becoming more common in society to share personal details on social media sites and for businesses to drum up revenue on such sites, the natural next step is to voice ones' political beliefs.

According to the CEO of a public relations and marketing firm based in Ohio, being open and honest with customers may make you more trustworthy in their eyes. On the other hand, many people disagree saying that if the general population is your audience, then offending a large portion of that audience could become troublesome for business owners if they start losing customers over the matter.

But the small-business owner says it doesn't bother him. He says, at the end of the day he may lose some money, but by not speaking up and showing his support, he realized he may be losing a lot more in the long run.

Source: Reuters News, "When politics are good, and bad, for small business," Geoff Williams, Sept. 14, 2012

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